Hygienically Clean Healthcare Certification

Hygienically Clean Healthcare

A laundry service with a TRSA Hygienically Clean Healthcare certification allows healthcare facilities to be confident that their laundry has met key disinfection criteria. This certification is not easily attained as it requires a laundry to incorporate best management practices (BMPs) as well as pass bacteriological testing and facility inspections.

Microbiological standards are based on testing using the USP 61 protocol:

– Allows a minimal amount of bacteria to remain after textiles are laundered
– Pass/fail criteria is less than or equal to 20 colony forming units (CFU)

A laundry must separate the soiled and clean areas of their facilities and standardize soiled linen handling and equipment maintenance to earn the TRSA Hygienically Clean Healthcare certification. They are required to document their maintenance, such as:

– Cleaning of work surfaces and stations
– Cleaning schedule
– Selection, measurement and proper use of cleaning supplies
– Use, cleaning and care of equipment

There are strict washing procedures that are used in the laundry process such as using pre-determined formulas to specify water temperature and chemistry as well as allocating specific amounts of time for soaking, rinsing, spinning and other wash cycle functions. To maintain an acceptable pH for finished laundry, only specific combinations of wash chemicals can be used. Dryer temperatures are indicated as well.

The TRSA does not specify these processes, chemicals or any BMPs.  They instead require that the protocols that the laundry uses are deemed appropriate and are documented and practiced effectively. The laundries that receive the Hygienically Clean Healthcare certification are free to use whatever tactics they choose as long as they meet the TRSA’s minimum specifications for bacteriological testing. The laundries must, however, document the BMPs they have chosen and include a written statement detailing their quality control procedures.

Combat HAIs by Quantifying Linen Cleanliness

Joseph Ricci, TRSA President & CEO, describes the necessity for TRSA certification in light of increasing recognition among medical personnel that every possible source of healthcare associated infections, including linen, must be scientifically evaluated for risk potential.

Hygienically Clean vs. Hygienically Clean – Healthcare

A certified TRSA Hygienically Clean Healthcare laundry’s quality control manual ensures compliance with various applicable safety and health regulations, particularly the OSHA bloodborne pathogens regulation.

Validating Adherence to the Standards

The TRSA inspects laundries to review their documentation and observe their BMP deployment and then approves laundries for Hygienically Clean certification. After the initial on-site inspection, facilities are examined every 3 years to maintain certification. To ensure that each facility continues to be proactive after being certified, bacteriological testing is done once a month for the first three months and then once every six months after that.